CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I was glad to see an outpouring of interest in firearms limits after the horrendous shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.
Here is a suggestion for state legislators and Congress:
• All firearms owners must be licensed and must pass an exam.
• All firearms must be registered to a licensed firearms owner.
• The license to own and operate a firearm will be issued with a photo identification card similar to a driver's license. Periodic renewal of the firearm owner's license will be required. This firearms license establishes a unique account of record for the owner.
• All dealers of firearms and ammunition will be licensed and regulated by the newly created Federal Bureau of Firearms according to federal laws.
• All ammunition purchased will be logged to the account of the firearms owner. No ammunition will be sold to anyone other than a licensed firearms owner. The owner will file an annual report listing all firearms and ammunition held in possession at the end of each calendar year.
• The sale of ammunition shall be limited to an annual quota, established by the Federal Bureau of Firearms, based on the intended uses of the ammunition (target shooting, hunting, personal defense, etc.)
• The Federal Bureau of Firearms will ensure that no license to own a firearm will be issued to anyone who is deemed to be a felon, or convicted of violent acts of any kind, or impaired in any way such that owning and using a firearm may be hazardous to the individual or to others.
• Funds sufficient to carry out these acts shall be raised by taxes on sales of firearms and ammunition.
Given the level of carnage by firearms in this country, nothing short of comprehensive regulation and control will be sufficient to begin curbing the threat to peace and security that unregulated arms represents.
The Second Amendment has become obsolete, based on its original intent, which was to allow for the rapid deployment of a militia to deal with a possible foreign invasion. A militia is obsolete, given the status of the U.S. Armed Forces and National Guards today.
Harman is retired and lives in St. Albans.